Most read posts for 2010

This has been another wonderful year on this blog. Thanks for all your visits here and reading what I've been writing. Besides a jump in the number of subscribers to the RSS and email feeds, the number of visitors and pages viewed grew. Among all I wrote this year, here are the top twenty:

  1. How colleges are bad for our brains Our brains have not evolved to sit still in classrooms, to listen to lectures or to cram for tests. Most of academia works against how our brains function. This mismatch produces a wide spectrum of symptoms that are presumed to be isolated deficiencies of the learners. 
  2. A process for growing a new venture The process for growing a new venture is not something I could have written off the top of my head prior to now. It has emerged from writing about pitfalls in planning a new venture over the past two weeks.
  3. Tribal activity theory In his book Network - Theorizing Knowledge Work, Clay Spunizzi introduced me to Activity Theory. I was previously familiar with Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development and some facets of dialectical materialism, but not their combination in Activity Theory.
  4. Doing the wrong thing correctly When we're creating something new, we have a lot on our minds. It can be as small as a new web page or as comprehensive as launching a new start-up. Our minds naturally fixate on solving the immediate problems. 
  5. Wendell Berry's solving for pattern When I read the book Ecological Literacy several years back, I did not anticipate that Wendell Berry's essay on Solving for Pattern would stick with me endlessly. It remains one of the most profound essays I have ever read.
  6. Learning to formalize informal learning When we don't already know how to formalize informal learning, there's a lot to learn. We can welcome the challenge if the process of learning is informal enough to engage us. We can dread learning how to formalize informal learning if the process is too formal.
  7. Pitfalls in planning a new venture There are many ways for a business plan to be inadequate, ineffective or simply flawed. I intend to write up these pitfalls over the next two weeks, to clarify my own thinking about them and make sure I hold my evolving business plan to these standards.
  8. Open minded irrationality and Cynefin This morning I've been pondering how to overlay the Cynefin model with my new model of open and closed minds. It only took a slight rearrangement to access the explanatory power of the combined models. Here's some of what the mash-up revealed to me:
  9. Mind of a control freak - redux The last time I explored the mind of a control freak, I looked through the lens of inner turmoil and problematic self control. That write-up remains one of my most read posts in the past four years here. My current exploration of closed and open minds gives me a more detailed way to take a look at the mind of a control freak. 
  10. Setbacks in social business creation Last week on PBS I watched The New Recruits. Jeff Trexler, consultant to the production, has given us a valuable perspective on the "warts and all" documentary about Acumen Fund fellows launching social businesses. Last week, I also finished reading Muhammad Yunus's new book: Building Social Business. 
  11. Evaluating ourselves informally Informal learning makes it nearly impossible to give fair grades to process or outcomes, to score accurately or to objectively compare informal learners. When we adopt informal learning as I explored in Learning to formalize informal learning, we will also need to adopt informal evaluation schema.
  12. Emotions vs. feelings One of the many reasons we keep our minds closed is to keep a lid on our emotional turmoil. We've had bad experiences of our uncontrollable outbursts which teach us to suppress those urges diligently. These experiences give our irrational side a bad name. 
  13. Collaborative learning communities in health care In Chapter Six of The Firm as a Collaborative Community, contributing author: Michael Maccoby, explores a key premise of the book applied to health care. The book polarizes several distinctions, which remain unresolved by conventional models of organization , but could become integrated by collaborative communities:
  14. Funeral for higher ed Yesterday, the students at CU Boulder held a mock funeral as if all of higher ed is dying. They constructed a coffin and many protest signs with ingenious commentary like "higher ed is too young to die". They will take their demonstration to the state legislature in Denver later this week in hopes of turning the tide against the students who are drowning in soaring cost increases.
  15. Learning in 3D hits a home run Welcome to the thirteenth Blog Tour stop for Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration....  I'll be focusing on the superb structure of this book from an Acquisitions Editor's viewpoint. What Karl Kapp and Tony O'Driscoll have included in this volume is going have wonderful effects on its readers. I can already speak from my own experience: 
  16. Measuring immeasurable learning In a comment worth reading in its entirety on my previous post: Solving test scores problems, Virginia asked me: "So what do you think would be an effective measure of student learning that could be used as they move from state to state?"
  17. Issues in the reform of higher ed ... Here's a laundry list of issues that I think need to be addressed to successfully provide our societies with higher quality, post-secondary educations at a much lower cost. I'll cover each of these in more detail in the coming weeks.
  18. Evolving into P2P strategies Over the weekend, I finished reading a wonderful new book: What's Mine is Yours - The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers show us how we're actively migrating away from our excessively ownership-oriented economy. Michel Bauwens and Massimo Menichinelli raised my curiosity about this book which is deeply aligned with the P2P Foundation's trajectory. 
  19. Cognitive mobility Another way to picture open mindedness occurred to me today. What if our minds experience degrees of freedom, much like the variations in the movement of objects in space? As I reflected on this possibility, I realized how much mental phenomena gets explained by this metaphor. Here's how some of this possibility played out for me:
  20. Network - Theorizing Knowledge Work Yesterday I finished reading Clay Spinuzzi's latest book: Network - Theorizing Knowledge Work in Telecommunications. Last night I brainstormed insights I gleaned from the book that I want to explore further here. I usually get between six and ten ideas from a good book. My list from reading Clay's book has 21 items on it. What a treasure trove of inspirations I've found!

The archive to this blog also continues to provide lots of value to readers in 135 countries and territories. Here are the top twenty pages viewed by 13,964 visitors who've looked at 1329 of the posts written since 2006:

  1. What is emotional baggage 1875 times
  2. Resolving emotional baggage 1517 times
  3. Two kinds of change 727 times
  4. Outgrowing reflexive thinking 588 times
  5. Learning from feedback 410 times
  6. The mind of a control freak 374 times
  7. Vertical and horizontal networks 365 times
  8. Four kinds of comprehension 310 times
  9. Taking things too personally 308 times
  10. How colleges are bad for our brains 299 times
  11. Different kinds of ignorance 281 times
  12. Benefits of collaborating 277 times
  13. Effects of blogging on communities 275 times
  14. Two kinds of freedom 209 times
  15. Third and fourth order change 181 times
  16. A process for growing a new venture 170 times
  17. Empowered entrepreneurs 159 times
  18. If this is your first PLE 150 times
  19. Non-judgmental awareness 134 times
  20. Do we still need teachers 123 times

Thanks everyone!!

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